I am beyond excited that Duke won it’s fourth NCAA Championship last month over a tough Butler team. What an exciting game. I’m so proud of the Duke program and their journey this season.
As many of you know, I am the Webmaster for Coach K’s Official website, CoachK.com. I thought I would share what’s been going on with his site during Duke’s Championship run.
As the tournament progressed and Duke advanced, the site traffic grew higher and higher. The site traffic reached a peak of over 9,000 visits on the night of the championship game. On several occasions during the final four and championship weekend, the amount of traffic actually brought down the site.
CoachK.com is a WordPresss site currently hosted on a shared plan with Host Gator. I’ve never really experienced one of my sites going down due to the amount of traffic it was receiving. In each case, I worked with the Host Gator admins to get the site back online. In addition to their help in getting my site back online, I also received an education in caching plugins for WordPress.
Host Gator’s tech support was responsive, professional, and very helpful. I highly recommend them as a hosting provider.
This is a great example of the value a good hosting company can provide. Where is the value in cheap or free hosting when your site has a problem and you can’t get any support? On top of their great support, Host Gator is also very inexpensive and reliable.
I received word this week that the CoachK.com website I designed has been added to the WordPress Showcase. I am a huge fan of WordPress. For one of my designs to be featured in their official Showcase is very exciting.
I’ve been working with Duke Basketball since 2004 and I’m very proud of my association with Coach K and the program. The current design of the site, powered by WordPress, was launched in August 2009. Read my post about the site launch to learn more about my use of WordPress.
I’m proud to announce the launch of the redesigned CoachK.com website. CoachK.com is the Official Website of Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The site has been redesigned and updated to provide easier site navigation and incorporate database technology to automate content management, site navigation and more.
The new design, shown below, replaces the original look launched in April, 2004. Advances in web technology over the past five years along with the site’s growth (over 300 pages) made the redesign necessary. In addition, I wanted to give the site a cleaner, more modern look. Having worked closely with Duke’s athletic department on the site’s development, I am thrilled with the result.
Some of the new website features include:
- rotating flash banner ad for featured stories
- redesigned “Share Your Story” feature allowing fans to share their Coach K stories
- site search
- added social bookmarking icons to promote sharing of information
- dynamic menus and site navigation
- a number of other back-end enhancements
The new site is powered by WordPress . I’ve done a lot of work with WordPress lately and love the ease of use and flexibility it offers.
Check out the new CoachK.com website and let me know what you think.
In today’s world, the web plays an extremely vital role in the way business and life is run. In the last 10 years, the web has revolutionized the way people shop, go to school, find directions and even find relationships. This is because the web is the world’s largest single network of information. As a result of the web’s popularity, many businesses have found it almost a necessity to have their own website. When embarking on having a website for your self or your business, there are certain best practices that dictate whether your web presence will be a success of a failure. We will examine what makes good websites as far as their design and usability is concerned.
Avoid Splash Pages
A splash page is usually an animated intro of what the site is about and many designers normally include fancy graphics, music, or Flash animation. At first glance this is a great way to introduce your site to the world especially if your site is geared towards the younger audience. While these types of pages may seem “cool”, the reality is that people come to your site to find information or sovle a problem they are having. Anything you do to prevent them from find the information they are looking for decreases the usability of your site and increases the likelihood that the user will leave. Even with splash pages that are well done (which is rare), once you’ve seen them, they quickly become annoyances that must be “skipped” to get to the main site and information you want.
Use a Simple and Logical Navigation System
Usability analyst Steve Krug’s best selling book titled, “Don’t make me think,” tells us to keep things simple. What this means in terms of your site’s navigation is that it’s structure should be easy for anyone to follow. People should know where they are and how to get back to where they stared. The “home” button should be present on all the pages. A website is considered amateurish and illogical when a surfer has to use the “back” or “forward” button of their browser in order to navigate your site.
Avoid Excessively Long Pages
While it is understood that surfers coming to your website are looking for information, reading on the web is decidely different than off-line. You must take care to present your information in an easily digestable way for the reader. Users lose patience when forced to scroll through an excessively long page. One option is to break up your text into different pages and utilize contextual links to allow users to find the information they want.
Use Audio Sparingly
While audio can enhance the interactivity of a site, care should be given when adding sound to your website. Only incorporate sound if it compliments or enhances the message being communicated. In some cases users may already have other music playing when surfing the web.